Archives for posts with tag: Ang Lee

Grade B+

This adaptation of the Jane Austen novel of the same title stars Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet as two sisters with different personalities who do their best to manage suitors and a much downgraded lifestyle than they were accustomed to.  Thompson is the eldest sister, reserved and growing an attachment to a man who cannot seem to express his intent toward her; and Winslet is the headstrong, passionate sister who rushes into a romantic relationship with a man who is as passionate and lively as she, but spurns the affections of an older, emotionally reserved man.  The secrets of the suitors will eventually be brought to light, and how the sisters handle these secrets will either destroy or uplift them.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Sense And Sensibility” is the scene when Thomson’s love interest tells her the full story of why he did the things he did, and how he wants to proceed in the immediate future.  I realize it’s a bland recounting, but it was done to not spoil what I consider the most dramatic part of the movie.

Everything about this movie is superb…except the running time.  At 136 minutes, parts of Austen’s novel had to be cut and/or trimmed down; and when you do that, it obviously damages the story.  For those who think this adaptation is amazing as it stands, I suggest you watch the near 3 hour BBC version which deserves an A+ rating.

— M

Director Ang Lee gives us a beautiful, fantastic tale of a young man and a Bengal tiger who share a lifeboat after their ship sinks.  Suraj Sharma plays the young man who nicknamed himself Pi.  His life in India is upturned when his father decides to move the family to another country to start a new life, with that new life being financed by the sale of the family’s zoo and the animals in it.  Sharma and his family and the animals take passage in a freighter that sinks during a storm; and Sharma is soon alone with a Bengal tiger who managed to escape the sinking ship and enter the same lifeboat that Sharma is in.

The tiger, named Richard Parker, isn’t a partly tamed, circus animal who is friendly to his owners.  Parker is very much wild and hungry and will kill and eat Sharma at every opportunity.  If Sharma is to survive, he not only has to find food and water, he also has to avoid being eaten by Parker.  But how the hell does he do that when they are in the middle of an ocean and the lifeboat is the size of a small school bus?  Watch the movie and you’ll find out, but not until the very end does the full explanation come.

“Life of Pi” has the best cinematography I have seen in the last 10 years.  There is a scene of Sharma underwater, at night, helplessly watching the freighter sink to the bottom of the ocean.  The freighter’s lights are still on, casting an eerie glow around it as it falls into the void beneath.  It is a beautiful and frightening scene; and it is one of my memorable moments of this movie.

Another haunting scene which is another memorable, movie moment of “Life of Pi” is the part when Sharma catches a fish, its body shimmering and glowing like a rainbow.  Sharma kills the fish, and watches the colors fade from the animal’s body — it’s life and beauty violently taken away.  Sharma cries because of what he has done, and he quickly thanks one of his gods for turning into a fish so that Sharma could have something to eat.  Some won’t understand why Sharma reacted so extremely to killing the fish.  But I get it.  Hey, I like chicken, and I happen to eat lots of them; but if I had to kill chickens in order to eat chickens, I don’t think I’ll be eating chicken.  Now, if I was starving to death and I had to kill a chicken in order to live, then of course I’ll end the chicken’s life so that my life could go on; but I’ll feel very badly about killing the animal.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Life of Pi” is, of course, the twist at the end.  I won’t spoil it, so let me just say this…

The twist to this movie came as a complete surprise to me because I haven’t read any reviews or detailed comments about “Life of Pi” prior to watching it.  For those who haven’t watched the movie and some jackass spoiled it for you, I suggest you still watch the movie because there is so much in it to enjoy; and unless you were given details of the twist at the end, it will still come as a very interesting revelation, answering so many questions you will have as you watch the movie.

— M


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